Wireless Adapters

In a wireless network setup, a router transmits the broadband connection as radio waves and the wireless adapter receives the incoming radio waves. Users access the wireless broadband through wireless LAN adapters. These adapters acts like a link between the computer system and the radio waves of broadband.

As such a wireless adapter holds a very high significance among the hardware of a network setup to connect the broadband from one laptop or a computer system to another. One will also need an adapter for the printer if he wishes to share it amongst all the computers in the network.

Types of Wireless Adapters

There are two types of wireless adapters which are discussed as under

PCI Wireless Adapters

PCI is the abbreviated form of “Peripheral Component Interconnect," an engineering standard for linking devices to a computer's central processor unit. PCI functions by setting up a common interconnect called a bus that all connected devices allocate for communication. PCI is the most ordinary interconnect employed in desktop personal computers.

A PCI wireless adapter is attached to a desktop computer's PCI bus. Since the PCI bus is planted inside the computer, the unit must be opened and the wireless network adapter is mounted inside. The unit is attached and fits tightly inside the PCI, even though the wireless adapter card antenna projects out the backside of the computer.

USB Wireless Adapters

These adapters are connected to a standard USB port available on the back of latest computers. In common, USB network adapters are not much larger in size than PC Card adapters. Two LED lights on the adapter specify its power and network link position. A short USB cable which is usually included with the unit link the adapter to the computer. These adapters do not call for a separate power cord, as the same USB cable also draws power from the host computer. The wireless antenna and circuitry is projected external ally to the computer at all times. In some of the units, the antenna can be attuned manually to perk up the Wi Fi reception. The compact magnitude and uncomplicated installation make these adapters an numero uno when it comes to selecting a adapter for those who want to make their network setup simple.

Installing Wireless Adapters in Laptops

Some laptops come with a small blue or red button on the side that can be used to switch on the adapter while others require one to enable it from control panel of the operating system. In Windows, one can check the status of the wireless adapter in the device manager utility. If the device is not detected by the computer systems then there is a need of physically disconnecting the device and install it once again.

Right click on the My Computer icon on the desktop and then select Properties. Click the Hardware tab and then the Device Manager Button. If there is a wireless adapter it will be listed in the Network Adapters option. The majority of modern laptops come with wireless adaptors built in as a standard.

Installing Wireless Adapters in Desktops

Step 1

Switch off the computer and plug in the wireless adapter. Switch it back on and if there is Microsoft’s Windows XP, the computer will recognize the adapter and start the Found New Hardware Wizard

Step 2

Follow the on-screen instructions to complete installation automatically. If there is an older version of Windows there will be a need to first insert the CD that came with the adapter and install set-up software before plugging in the adapter.

Step 3

Repeat the above for each r desktop computer in the network.

Getting a Wireless Adapters

Certified wireless adapter products are available today from major IT brands such as Compaq, Intel, Motorola, Lynksys, Proxim and Siemens through retail, online and service provider channels. However purchasing it online is the cheap and convenient option as the product is delivered at the doorstep at the very low cost. They come in a variety of form factors such as USB and PC card adapters.